Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Blog Tour of Author Shelia Goss

Today I'm hosting author Shelia Goss on her blog tour. Her most recent book is My Invisible Husband.

Blogging has become a popular way for authors to reach their readers. Sheilia will give us information about blogs and blogging...and how to get started. As Sheila says, blogging is "the wave of the future."

MEA: Shelia, what is a blog?

SHELIA: A blog is the equivalent to an online diary. You can use it to post personal information or useful information . It also can be used to interact with other bloggers, and if you're an author, your reader.

MEA: Why would I want to blog?

SHELIA: Blogging is what you make of it. It's a way to introduce your readers to a side of you that they cannot see from reading a bio on your web site or on the back of your book cover. It also gives your reading audience a chance to leave you real-time comments and interact with not only you but also other readers of your books.

MEA: How often should I blog?

SHELIA: Don't look at blogging as a dreaded task placed on your to do list. Blogging should be fun, and if you become an active blogger, you'll look forward to posting as well as interacting with others. How often you post is up to you. You can post daily, every other day, weekly or whenever the whim hits. You'll find the more responses you get on your blog posts, the more you'll be inclined to post on somewhat of a schedule.

MEA: Is there Blog etiquette?

SHELIA: If you'll be away for an extended period of time, just write a quick post, so your regular visitors won't think you forgot about them.

There are times that you may get some unwanted comments (yes, spammers have infiltrated the blog world), so don't hesitate to either delete those posts or set up your blog so posters have to put in a password.

MEA: Should my blog have a theme?

SHELIA: It's not necessary, but it makes it fun. I have three blogs. Each blog has a central theme. For example:

* chronicles the life of a writer.
* is a place to discuss relationships, books, or whatever else is on your mind.
* showcases my interview excerpts, reviews and/or information on the world of entertainment: books, music, TV, and film.

MEA: How do you come up with topics?

SHELIA: Keep your eyes and ears open. Life is filled with ideas. Some of my topics stem from what's going on in the nhews or from conversations I've had or observed. Since the central theme on My Invisible Husband blog is about relationships, it's hard to run out of something to discuss.

Take a chance and see what works for you. Blogging shouldn't be difficult. It should be fun. If it's draining, maybe you need to step away from it for awhile or come up with another topic. There may be some days you only feel like rambling and that's okay, too.

MEA: When someone has decided to blog, how do they get started?

SHELIA: There are many blog services available to you. Below is a short list of blog websites:

* (The workshop and all of my blogs are hosted here.)

MEA: Do you have some blogs you like to visit?

SHELIA: Here are examples of author blogs:

* http:///

Remember keep blogging fun and your readers will enjoy visiting. Who knows, you might just get a book sale or two from it, too.

Stop by Shelia's blogs ( or and leave a comment with your weblink.

MEA: Thank you for stopping by today, Shelia. I'm sure my readers have learned a great deal about blogging from you and are anxious to get started with their own blogs.

(Shelia Goss is an entertainment writer and the author of My Invisible Husband and Roses are thorns, Violets are true. She recently was named Infini's Outstanding Author of 2006. She's also the recipient of three 2003 Shades of Romance Magazine Reader's Choice Multi-cultural Awards and the 2004 Onesan Productions Female Author of the Year. My Invisible Husband is published by Urban Soul, an imprint of Kensington.)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dorothy Thompson's Virtual Book Tour

Today I'm hosting Dorothy Thompson's Virtual Book Tour.

"What is a Virtual Book Tour?" you ask.

This is a very creative way to conduct a book tour. Rather than visiting actual book stores, you visit various blogs, answer questions, and interact with readers. Dorothy Thompson is author and editor of Romancing the Soul anthology (to which I contributed a story) and several e-books. She has become known as a relationship expert, with a web site ( ) and articles in magazines and ezines.

Dorothy also has compiled what's she's learned about promoting and selling books into her latest eBook, A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published Book.

Today Dorothy is visiting my blog in her month long tour. I've asked her a few questions. I think you'll enjoy reading her answers and learning about publishing and promoting.

MEA: Welcome, Dorothy, to Mary Emma's Potpourri of Writing.

How has your book tour been going? Perhaps if you'll describe this type of tour, readers will have a better idea of what it's all about.

DOROTHY: Hi, Mary Emma, and thank you for having me!

While everyone should know that it takes a combination of things to effectively promote an eBook, I must say the most effective as of this date has to be this virtual book tour. I have never seen anything like it, and I only wish I had done this before. It was like DUH! I had heard of virtual book tours, but I thought you had to have someone set them up for you. I had no idea I could do it myself.

They're easy to set up, and since you're the boss, you can appear on any blog you'd like, If you set your tour for a month, that should give your eBook plenty of time to gain interest. The sales have been unbelievable.

MEA: Why did you start writing eBooks?

DOROTHY: I started out e-published. Years ago. But I had no idea how to promote eBooks, hardly knew what one was. But I was so excited to be published, I was willing to go any route. However, the book bombed. I didn't know how to promote it. I couldn't take it on signings. I couldn't hand sell it. I didn't know what to do with the thing.

Three years later, my anthology, Romancing the Soul, was published both in print and electronic format by Zumaya Publications. It wasn't until then that I started learning how to promote. I kept notebooks on what worked and didn't work, and I found the secret to good promotion is to target your audience. I found my audience, and soon thereafter started all sorts of things to get sales. I began a newsletter, gave away free advice, etc.

Next I contacted my publisher about publishing another relationship book. She advised me to wait a year to let Romancing the Soul gain momentum. As she's a smart cookie, I decided to do just that.

In the meantime, I kept writing and revising this next book. (Incidentally, it...The Soul Mate Triangle: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Soul Mate Relationship, will be published next year...waaahooo!)

However, I was getting antsy. I wanted more reltationship books out there, but I knew I had to wait. Me and waiting don't match.

It was then I decided to write a shorter relationship book and turn it into an eBook to sell on my web site while I waited for my other book to be published. A couple weeks later, How to Find and Keep Your Soul Mate was selling off my web site.

Sales were okay, but nothing to write home to Mama about. I still hadn't found the secret to have them selling like hotcakes. A few months later, my writing group and I published an eBook to give away, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published.

After using a new technique, outlined in my promotional book, A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published EBook, I managed to get our eBook into the #1 spot in all the search engines in one week for our key search words that people would use to find it. I thought, "That is really cool!"

I tried the same technique with our free Halloween eBook. It only took SIX days to get it in the #1 spot in all the search engines.

So those little free eBooks were my guinea pigs. I had learned how to use the search engines effectively, as a result, sell more books.

It was then I knew I was ready to tell the world. I unleashed A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published EBook last September. I have to admit, I am making more money from this eBook so far than all my royalties combined.

MEA: Have you found readers more receptive to your e-books than print books?

DOROTHY: I am finding people are more curious about the promoting eBook than anything because I think people want to learn how to make money with their writing that gets instant results. Before you even think about doing this, you must have a market.

I've seen self-published eBooks that just sit. The author has done everything in his power to promote it, yet he's getting no sales. Informational eBooks are the ones selling well right now. But again, you must have an audience. If you have any expertise in ANYTHING, it has the potential to make a pretty good eBook.

You see, there must be a demand for your eBook. Zero in on your market and get that eBook out there!

If you'd like to learn more about my eBook, A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published EBook, you can visit: .

Thank you for having me, Mary Emma, and happy promoting to you!

Creating a Blog for Sarah Jane

I've discovered many authors develop web sites or blogs for their books, series of books or a particular character. I decided to create a blog for Sarah Jane - Pioneer Girl at .

She's the character in one of my short stores, Sarah Jane's Daring Deed, that was published in four magazines (I retained the rights) and in my anthology, Tales of Discovery & Adventure. Sarah Jane evolved from research I was doing for a newspaper column about the history of the area where I live in New Hampshire. I began to wonder what it was like for youngsters to live in this newly settled land. Thus the story about Sarah Jane and Little Fawn resulted.

This story is the first one in my anthology and has become a favorite among the young readers when I visit schools and present workshops. It's become one I feel akin with, too. My daughter even made dolls to accompany me to school when I work with young people.

"Why don't you write some more adventures about Sarah Jane?" youngsters have asked me.

So a picture book is in the works and more story ideas are mulling around in my mind. Then I realized my readers might enjoy a blog about Sarah Jane, where she lived, and those pioneer days. Since I'm also a teacher, I've been developing activities to accompany writing and history lessons. Some of my school visits (with Sarah Jane) have involved having the young writers and readers work on stories set in Sarah Jane's era.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Home Business Blog Becomes "Live" at b5 Media

In addition to writing at a blog about Alzheimer's ( and one on quilting (, I now write one on home based businesses ( ). Blogging has become a way of life for many writers as they write about one of more topics.

Although I don't solely write blogs (here and at b5media), I do enjoy working at the ones I'm involved with. They're on topics about which I'm knowledgeable and am learning more every day. Blogging a way to share with others and encourage them in their lives and with their various interests.